Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ambiguity Cost Me $10

So yesterday after an awesome 100th 65bits episode, I went with DK, Nicole, Jean, Alice, Vincent, and sorry Jean's friend your name slipped my mind, to watch Bolt. We wanted to catch the 3D version, and were disappointed that The Cathay only had one show at 3.15pm (it was 4.30 by then?). The other alternative was 6.30 at Tampines Mall, which I didn't mind but the other westies did haha. So after digging, we found a fantastic timing at Cathay Causeway Point, and went ahead.

When we walked into the theatre, we got no 3D glasses, no 3D movie.

Now I'm paying money for Bolt only because I was under the impression that I was going to watch it in 3D. I don't want to pay to watch the normal version. I'm not too happy to discover I blew 10 bucks like that. Look at this.

This is what you see when you go through the Movies page on Cathay. So SWEET we were happy with the 3D sign, and totally didn't see the fucking fine print Exclusively at The Cathay Cineplex. So we clicked on Book Tickets Online to move forward...

And this is what the link brings you too. Tell me, 1) after seeing that 3D sign on the previous page, and 2) being a customer who doesn't know/realize that screenings in special formats, ie. Digital and 3D, would be indicated, would you not assume that all three locations were playing in 3D? But in fact...

Bolt 3D is hidden inside the movie dropbox.

How misleading is that?

And on a sidenote, you know that 3D is the attraction of this movie, why are you not promoting it actively? Why are you not bringing prospective customers to the 3D page first, and provide a link out to a normal screening if they don't want 3D? Isn't that Marketing 10fucking1?

I'm swearing alot nowadays right? Yeah. Sorry la. Boy boy's growing up.

Now this on the other hand, is GV's Now Showing page. And you can see that instead of one synopsis pointing you to two different types of screenings, it's two types of screenings on two pages with the same synopsis. See, if it is indicated like this, customers have far less excuse of saying "WTF? You didn't tell me this wasn't 3D??" Simply because this is the FIRST thing you see, when wondering what movie to catch, or when you want to confirm timings for a certain film or screening type.

Can you say we were at fault for not noticing the small print on the 3D sign? Yes. It was carelessly overlooked, I'll grant. But to that I also say "Fuck you we're not trying to discern counterfeit money we are trying to watch a movie here". And all the manager at Causeway Point could say, bless his soul he also dunno what to say I think, was to keep insisting that special screening formats are only played at The Cathay, and that we must know that these formats are separately indicated. I think you better teach your managers to say something else before they get slaughtered by popcorn and straws one day. And if your business method is to make it the customer's responsibility to scrutinize every damned pixel or ink blot to figure out for himself where you're screening what, then I couldn't care less if you're the only company who manages to import award-winning films from Tuzilihastokhan, I'm not going to put myself at risk of wasting money by patronizing you. I'm travelling across the island to GV Tampines for my 3D show.

I've always loved The Cathay for its extra comfy seats, and digital film options. It's what a cinema should be (that's only one cinema venue of theirs but still). And this incident is very disappointing and smears stinking dirt on the wonderful image that I have of them.

I hope this message gets passed along. Something needs to be done about this. Do not let your, I'd say prestigious image fall so easily because of such a flaw. Leave no room for error and keep your customers' loyalty.

1 comment:

emy said...

Well...I understand what a pain it is. Perhaps the cinema shouldn't really attempt to bring in the 3D exclusive if their online booking site does not allow them to actively and blatantly promote it.

Sometimes, organizations have great vision but lack execution.